Applying for a passport in Pakistan is an essential step for any citizen who wishes to travel abroad. Whether you’re planning a vacation, a business trip, or you’re just looking to explore the world, having a valid passport is a must. In this comprehensive guide, Mobilesly will walk you through the entire process of applying for a Pakistani passport in a conversational tone, making it easy for you to understand and follow each step.
Introduction to Pakistani Passports
Before we dive into the application process, let’s first understand what a Pakistani passport is and why it’s so important. A passport is a travel document issued by the government that identifies the holder as a citizen of the country. In the case of Pakistan, a Pakistani passport allows you to travel internationally and serves as proof of your citizenship.
There are different types of Pakistani passports, including:
- Regular Passport: Issued to ordinary citizens for general travel purposes.
- Official Passport: Issued to government officials and individuals representing the government.
- Diplomatic Passport: Issued to diplomats and other high-ranking government officials representing Pakistan abroad.
For most people, the regular passport is the one you’ll need for personal travel. Let’s now move on to the steps involved in applying for a regular Pakistani passport.
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
Before you head to the passport office, you’ll need to ensure you have all the necessary documents ready. The required documents may vary slightly based on your individual circumstances, but here’s a general list of what you’ll need:
- Proof of Pakistani Citizenship: This can be your Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC), National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), or your existing Pakistani passport if you’re applying for a renewal.
- Old Passport (if applicable): If you have an existing passport, you’ll need to provide the old passport along with any previous expired passports.
- Passport Application Form: You can obtain this form from the Passport Office or download it from the official website of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports (www.dgip.gov.pk).
- Passport Size Photographs: You’ll typically need four to six recent passport size photographs. These photographs must adhere to the specifications mentioned on the application form.
- Fee Payment Receipt: The passport fee varies based on the type of passport, the number of pages, and the processing time. You can check the fee structure on the official website or inquire at the Passport Office.
- Utility Bills: To prove your current residential address, you might need utility bills like electricity or gas bills.
- Parent or Guardian’s Consent (for minors): If the applicant is below 18 years of age, the consent of the parent or guardian is required.
- Marriage Certificate (for married individuals): Married women might need to provide a marriage certificate to show their change of name.
- NADRA Verification Certificate: Some applicants may be required to provide a NADRA Verification Certificate, which can be obtained from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
- No Objection Certificate (NOC): If you’re employed, you may need a NOC from your employer. The requirements for this may vary depending on your employment status and organization.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, make sure they are complete, up-to-date, and in good condition. Any missing or damaged documents could delay the application process.
Step 2: Complete the Passport Application Form
The next step is to fill out the passport application form. The form is a crucial part of the application process, and it’s important to fill it out accurately and legibly. Here’s a breakdown of the key information you’ll need to provide on the form:
- Personal Information: This includes your name, date of birth, place of birth, and your CNIC/NICOP number.
- Family Information: You’ll need to provide details about your parents, including their names and CNIC/NICOP numbers.
- Contact Information: Your current address, phone number, and email address, if applicable.
- Occupation and Education: Information about your occupation and education.
- Previous Passport Details (if applicable): If you have an existing or expired passport, you’ll need to provide its details, including the passport number and date of issue.
- Emergency Contact Information: Provide contact details for someone who can be reached in case of an emergency.
- Marital Status (for married individuals): If you’re married, you’ll need to provide information about your spouse, including their name and CNIC/NICOP number.
- Minor’s Information (for applicants under 18): Details about the minor applicant, including their parents’ information.
It’s important to be truthful and accurate when filling out the form, as any inconsistencies or incorrect information can lead to delays in the application process.
Step 3: Get Passport Size Photographs
Passport size photographs are a crucial part of your application, as they are used for your passport and are attached to the application form. Here are some guidelines for getting the right passport size photographs:
- Size: The size of the photograph should be 45mm x 35mm.
- Background: The background should be plain, light blue or white.
- Head Position: Make sure your head is centered and occupies 70-80% of the photo’s height.
- Face Expression: Maintain a neutral expression with your mouth closed. Avoid smiling, frowning, or raising your eyebrows.
- Eyeglasses: If you wear eyeglasses, ensure that there is no glare, and your eyes are clearly visible.
- Head Covering: If you wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons, make sure your face is fully visible from the bottom of your chin to the top of your forehead.
It’s a good idea to get several copies of these photographs, as you’ll need them for other official documents as well.
Step 4: Pay the Passport Fee
The passport fee varies depending on several factors, including the type of passport, the number of pages, and the processing time. You can find the fee structure on the official website of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports. Typically, you can pay the fee at designated banks or branches.
Make sure to keep the fee payment receipt safe, as you’ll need it to prove that you’ve paid the required amount when submitting your application.
Step 5: Visit the Passport Office
With all your documents, completed application form, photographs, and fee payment receipt in hand, it’s time to visit the nearest Passport Office. Here’s what you can expect when you arrive:
- Queue and Token: When you arrive at the Passport Office, you may need to queue up to receive a token. The token will specify the order in which your application will be processed.
- Document Verification: Your documents will be verified by the designated staff. Make sure you have all the required documents and they are in order.
- Biometric Data Collection: You will need to provide biometric data, including fingerprints and a digital signature.
- Interview: An interview may be conducted by the passport office staff to verify your information. Be prepared to answer questions about your application.
- Acknowledgment Receipt: After your application is processed, you’ll receive an acknowledgment receipt. This receipt will contain a tracking ID that you can use to check the status of your application online.
Step 6: Application Processing and Verification
After submitting your application at the Passport Office and the application goes through a series of processing and verification steps. These steps are crucial to ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of the information provided. Here’s what happens after you’ve submitted your application:
- Data Entry: The information you provided on the application form is entered into the system. This data entry is an essential step to create your passport record.
- Document Verification: Your supporting documents, such as your CNIC/NICOP, old passport (if applicable), and other required documents, are thoroughly checked for accuracy and authenticity. Any discrepancies or missing information may lead to delays or rejection.
- Biometric Verification: Your biometric data, including fingerprints and a digital signature, is verified. This biometric information is crucial for ensuring that the passport is issued to the correct individual.
- Background Check: A background check may be conducted to verify the information you provided. This is done to ensure that the applicant does not have any legal issues or restrictions that would prevent the issuance of a passport.
- Interview (if necessary): In some cases, you may be called for an interview to clarify or provide additional information about your application. This is a standard procedure to verify the authenticity of your application.
- Security Clearance: The information provided in your application may be sent for security clearance to relevant authorities. This is done to ensure that the applicant does not pose a security risk.
- Payment Verification: The payment receipt you provided will be verified to confirm that the required fee has been paid. Without a valid payment receipt, your application may not proceed.
It’s important to note that the processing times can vary, and there may be additional delays if there are any issues with your application. During this waiting period, you can track the status of your application online using the tracking ID mentioned on your acknowledgment receipt.
Step 7: Passport Printing
Once your application has gone through the verification process, and all the checks have been successfully completed, your passport will be printed. The printing process usually takes a few weeks. The printed passport will contain your personal information, photograph, and other details.
Step 8: Passport Collection
Once your passport is ready, you’ll receive a notification that it’s time to collect it from the Passport Office. Here’s what you can expect during the collection process:
- Notification: You will receive a notification, either by email or SMS, informing you that your passport is ready for collection.
- Visit the Passport Office: Visit the Passport Office on the specified date and time mentioned in the notification.
- Verification: Your identity will be verified when you arrive at the Passport Office for collection. Make sure to bring the acknowledgment receipt and your original CNIC/NICOP for verification.
- Passport Handover: Once your identity is confirmed, you will be handed your new passport. It’s a good practice to carefully inspect the passport to ensure that all the information is accurate.
- Acknowledgment Receipt Return: You will need to return the acknowledgment receipt you received when you submitted your application. This receipt is typically retained by the Passport Office for record-keeping.
Step 9: Passport Renewal
A Pakistani passport is typically valid for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type of passport and the applicant’s age. When your passport is about to expire, it’s essential to renew it in a timely manner if you plan to continue traveling. The renewal process is generally less complicated than applying for a new passport. Here’s what you need to do:
- Gather Required Documents: You’ll need the following documents for passport renewal:
- Expired passport (if available).
- Passport application form.
- Passport size photographs.
- Fee payment receipt.
- Any additional documents required based on your individual circumstances.
- Complete the Application Form: Fill out the passport renewal application form with updated information, and be sure to provide accurate details.
- Pay the Renewal Fee: Pay the applicable renewal fee at the designated bank or branch and keep the payment receipt.
- Visit the Passport Office: Visit the Passport Office with the required documents and the acknowledgment receipt from your previous application. The process for passport renewal is similar to that of a new passport application.
- Biometric Verification: Your biometric data will be re-verified, including fingerprints and a digital signature.
- Interview (if necessary): You may be called for an interview to clarify any information in your renewal application.
- Passport Printing: Once the renewal application is processed and verified, your new passport will be printed.
- Passport Collection: Follow the collection process outlined in Step 8 to receive your renewed passport.
Step 10: Passport Tracking
Throughout the application process, you can track the status of your passport application online. The tracking ID provided on your acknowledgment receipt allows you to monitor the progress of your application. You can check the status on the official website of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.
Applying for a Pakistani passport may seem like a complex process, but with the right documents, accurate information, and patience, it’s a manageable and essential task for anyone wishing to travel internationally. Remember to plan ahead, make sure your documents are in order, and be prepared for any potential delays in the application process.
Lastly, keep your passport safe and secure once you receive it. It’s a valuable document that serves as proof of your Pakistani citizenship and allows you to explore the world. Safe travels!